News

Daily Newsletter - 3 January 2023

Summary

Macroeconomic (3)
Financial (3)
Investment (3)
Legislative (2)
European News (1)
Social (2)
Macroeconomic 
Government debt grew to 48% of GDP in October 2022
Public administration’s debt (government debt) stood at RON 651.508 billion in October 2022, compared to RON 646.073 billion in September and RON 577.521 billion at the end of 2021, according to data published by the Ministry of Finance. As a percentage of GDP, government debt grew to 48%, from 47.6% the previous month. Medium- and long-term debt was RON 623.967 billion in October, while short-term debt amounted to RON 27.54 billion. Government securities accounted for most of this debt, namely RON 535.01 billion. Borrowed sums totaled RON 103.29 billion.
GDP could grow by 2.4% in 2023 and by 3.7% in 2024
Banca Transilvania has revised its projections regarding the evolution of Romania’s economy and has forecast more moderate GDP growth, of 4.6% in 2022 and 2.4% in 2023, compared to 5.1% in 2021, due to the impact of overlapping supply-related shocks and to the events in Ukraine and their consequences. Private consumption (the main component of GDP) is expected to decelerate from 7.1% in 2021 to 5.6% in 2022 and 3.3% in 2023, given that the high inflationary pressures have a negative impact on population’s real available income.
Romania has the most stable economy in the region
Romania has the most stable economy in the region and ended 2022 with over 5% economic growth, according to Finance Minister Adrian Câciu, who has warned that 2023 will be a difficult year, still marked by inflationary pressure and during which the maximum use of public policy instruments, directed towards investments, reforms and support for vulnerable groups will make a difference. He has pointed out that the economic potential was restored and economy was stabilized in 2022, with economy having produced RON 214 billion more than in 2021.
Financial 
CEC Bank raised over RON 650 million through an inaugural issue of MREL eligible bonds
At the end of December 2022, CEC Bank had obtained Luxembourg Stock Exchange’s approval for the multi-annual bond issues prospectus and last week, it successfully placed the first tranches, through a private placement to professional investors, in RON and euro, whose total value amounted to RON 656.6 million. CEC Bank can issue several types of bonds (senior unsecured, subordinated or eligible bonds for the minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities (MREL) within the approved prospectus.
Onix Asigurări remained the leader of the guarantee insurance segment in H1/2022
Onix Asigurări remained the leader of the guarantee insurance segment in H1/2022, with a volume of gross written premiums of RON 48.4 million, down by 44% year-on-year, but with a market share of nearly 35%, according to data published by the Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF) in the report on the evolution of the insurance market in H1/2022. Onix Asigurări took the lead of the guarantee insurance segment as early as the first half of 2021, when bankrupt City Insurance, which was still listed in ASF’s report, was already showing signs of inevitable collapse.
Bank lending to euro zone companies slowed in November
Bank lending to euro zone companies slowed in November, easing back from the sector’s biggest borrowing binge in over a decade as rising interest rates and a looming recession appear to be taking a toll, European Central Bank data showed on Thursday. Lending to businesses in the 19-country euro area expanded by 8.4% in November after an 8.9% reading a month earlier while household credit growth slowed to 4.1% from 4.2%.
Investment 
65 investment projects with major impact on economy were financed by Finance Ministry
Ministry of Finance approved RON 2.8 billion state aid for 65 investment projects in 2022, according to a press release issued by the institution. The projects are worth about RON 8 billion and will generate more than 9,500 new jobs. The state aid funding was granted through the two schemes administered by the Ministry, namely Government Decree 807/2014 on the establishment of state aid schemes aimed at boosting investments with a major impact on economy and Government Decree 332/2014 on the establishment of a state aid scheme to support investments promoting regional development through jobs creation.
ETI European Food Industries received an over RON 118 million capital infusion in November
ETI European Food Industries, part of the Turkish group ETI, received an over RON 118 million (about EUR 25 million) capital infusion in November, according to data from the Trade Register Office. Production at the ETI plant started in 2016 following more than EUR 50 million investments. Romania is the group’s first investment outside Turkey and the biggest investment from scratch in the sweets production sector in the past decade. Moreover, ETI European Food Industries has submitted a project to Dolj Environmental Protection Agency to change the use of a building from a storage building to a production and storage building, according to the institution’s website. The project presents several changes that part of the production unit near Craiova will undergo.
Minister of Development has signed 130 new contracts for investments in green mobility
Minister of Development, Public Works and Administration, Cseke Attila, has signed 130 new financing contracts, submitted within the first call for projects for the C10 - Local Fund component of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Development on Friday, the contracts were signed between local public authorities from 127 administrative-territorial units and the Ministry of Development, have a total value of RON 323,321,674.35 and are aimed at ensuring the infrastructure for green transport, through the construction of bicycle (and other light electric vehicles) lanes at local/metropolitan level and the acquisition of charging points for electric vehicles.
Legislative 
President Iohannis believes ports administration law is unconstitutional
The Presidential Administration has announced that President Klaus Iohannis has filed a constitutional challenge to the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) regarding the Law approving the Government Emergency Ordinance on the management of ports and waterways, the use of public naval transport infrastructures, as well as the conduct of shipping activities in ports and on inland waterways, and completing an article of the Competition Law. The law was reanalyzed by Parliament upon the President’s request.
AUR submitted draft law to Senate allowing seafarers to adopt children from orphanages
Four MPs from the Alliance for Romanians’ Unity, including party leader George Simion, have submitted a draft law to the Senate amending the adoption law so that seafarers can also adopt children from orphanages, even if they are temporarily absent from the country. The AUR initiators argue that, in its current form, the text is clearly discriminatory against Romanian citizens residing in Romania who are temporarily absent from the country in order to carry out specific activities in the maritime sector. The draft law was registered with the Senate, as the first notified body, and the Chamber of Deputies is the decision-making body.
European News 
EU to discuss joint Covid-19 response to China arrivals on 4 January
EU countries will meet next week to discuss a joint response to travellers from China amid concern over the country’s explosion of Covid cases, incoming EU presidency holder Sweden announced Saturday (31 December). Stockholm, which takes over the rotating EU presidency on 1 January, said it had called a meeting of the Council’s crisis management mechanism IPCR for Wednesday.
Social 
Gross minimum wage in economy will grow to RON 3,000 starting from 1 January 2023
The gross minimum wage in economy will grow to RON 3,000 starting from 1 January 2023. Over 2 million employees will benefit from this increase. The minimum wage in the constructions sector will be RON 4,000, from RON 3,000 previously, when it was exempt from the payment of taxes and social security contributions. At the beginning of December 2023, the government had approved the decision on the increase in the minimum gross wage in Romania, from RON 2,550 to RON 3,000 per month as of 1 January 2023.
Romania’s resident population is 19.05 million people
The National Institute of Statistics (INS) has published the first flash data for the 2021 round of the Population and Housing Census. It shows that Romania’s resident population was 19,053,800 at the end of 2021, of whom: 9,808,300 (51.5%) were female and 9,941,200 (52.2%) lived in urban areas. Romania lost 1,067,800 inhabitants compared to the resident population recorded in the previous census (RPL2011). The number of inhabitants decreased in 39 of the 42 counties in Romania (including Bucharest).